Cazenove has lowered its rating on Allied Domecq to "underperform" from "in-line" yesterday.

The stockbroker estimated that there was less than a 10% chance of a bid for the UK wine and spirts group.

Cazenove believes a serious offer for Allied would need to be around US$17 billion.
"We have no doubt that the board of Allied would be open to an offer which included an appropriate strategic premium; but we do not see the supposed bidders having the financial power or commitment to pursue such a course," Cazenove said in a research note.